Other Ponderings

How to Last Longer Between Petrol Runs

This is a collaboration.

Filling up your car with petrol isn’t a very fun pastime.

It’s kind of like going to the dentist for a check up or paying your utility bills. It costs quite a bit of money, it’s not very exciting and you’re simply maintaining the status quo.

The average person is spending about £800 a year on fuel, so it’s a major expense and one you’ll do well to keep in check. So, what about ways to save?

Here are a few suggestions to get the most from your tank of petrol.

Nice & Slow

If you’re not a rush, take it easy on the highways; you can make big savings.

Supposedly, driving at 75mph rather than 55mph will use 20% more fuel, even 65mph will use 10-15% more than 55mph.

Efficiency drops off significantly after 60mph, so don’t put your foot down if you don’t need to.

Feeling Flat

Tyre pressure is easy to forget about and should be regularly maintained. Not only will it reduce your risk of things like punctures, but also save on fuel.

Tyres not inflated to the correct level will increase ‘rolling resistance’ and use more petrol. If you’re not sure what pressure your tyres should be at, check the glovebox for the driver’s manual. All the information you need will be in there.

Smoothly Does It

Like driving quickly, driving aggressively will put extra strain on the engine and how thirsty your car is.

Try and stay away from rapid acceleration and heavy braking (the two tend to go hand in hand). Basically, any jerky movements are best avoided, so be nice to the clutch.

Don’t Get Air-Conned

Air conditioning can be a life saver on a very hot or cold day, but it also needs powering.

Using you air-con can increase consumption by 8-10%. Of course, having the windows down significantly increases the drag on your vehicle, so comfort does come at a price.

Traffic Jam Woes

As well as being completely rubbish to be sat in, the stop-start nature of heavy traffic is expensive on fuel.

Getting the car moving from a static position is the most taxing mechanism on energy consumption, so avoid it as best you can.

Of course, traffic jams are an inevitability of life for most so, when you are in one, glide in space as best you can and try to avoid stopping fully. Your new game might even make the traffic more interesting.

A Load to Bear

A lighter car is a happier car. Just like opening your windows, extra weight creates extra resistance, and you know what that means by now.

A car full of people, bags or just general clutter can make a big difference, so keep you motor as clean as you can.

Buy Better

If you are looking to buy a new vehicle, make economy a priority in your search.

Do you research online into vehicles with good miles per gallon (MPG) averages and think about what car best suits your lifestyle. Also, look into diesel versus petrol or think about a hybrid option.

Unless you’re thinking of becoming a 24/7 cyclist, spending good money on fuel is an inevitability in life. However, by following a few simple steps, you can make your pocket a little bit healthier.

Thanks for reading, I'd love to know what you think.

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